Omori (video game)

Omori (stylized as OMORI) is an indie role-playing video game developed by OMOCAT. Based on the director's omori ひきこもり [hikikomori] series of webcomics, the game tells the story of a hikikomori boy named Sunny and his dream world alter-ego Omori, exploring the real world and the surreal dream world to overcome his repressed fears and secrets. He is joined by a party of his close friends as they explore the overworld and engage in turn-based battles against fantastical enemies, with status effects based on the characters' emotions. The game has two routes with multiple endings based on the player's choices.[1][2]

Omori
The logo shows the text "OMORI" in a filtered hand-written text, with a black lightbulb making up the counter in the middle "O".
Developer(s)OMOCAT, LLC
Publisher(s)Playism
Director(s)OMOCAT
Artist(s)OMOCAT
Charlene Lu
Emily Shaw
Composer(s)bo en
Jami Lynne
Pedro Silva
EngineRPG Maker
Platform(s)
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows, macOS
December 25, 2020
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
TBA
Genre(s)Role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player

The game was released for Microsoft Windows and macOS in December 2020,[3] with plans for ports to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in the near future. Omori received praise from critics for its graphics, story, characters, battle system, and soundtrack, being favorably compared to EarthBound, Yume Nikki, and Undertale.[4][5][6]

GameplayEdit

 
Omori utilizes a rock-paper-scissors type system during battles in which certain emotions are strong or weak against each other.

The gameplay of Omori is inspired by traditional Japanese role-playing games. The player controls a party of four characters: Omori, Aubrey, Kel, and Hero. When exploring the overworld, the game is played from a top-down perspective. The overworld features side-quests and puzzles for the player to solve, which can award the party with abilities and items. Items can also be obtained by breaking open watermelons found throughout the game, or by purchasing them from a shop using CLAMS, the game's currency. Items include WEAPONS, CHARMS which buff certain attributes, SNACKS which heal the party, and TOYS which can be used in combat for various effects. Enemies are visible in the overworld; making contact with them initiates a battle.

Battles are played out in a turn-based format, with each fighter's speed attribute determining who goes first.[7] Characters and enemies have HEART, which functions as health points; if damage is taken, it decreases, and if it reaches zero, the character is defeated. Fallen party members represented as toast, and can be revived with a special jam item, called LIFE JAM. The JUICE meter is used to perform SKILLS, special abilities which aid in battle. The party's emotions, which can change throughout the course of a battle, can affect their attributes: ANGRY increases attack but lowers defense, SAD increases defense but lowers speed, and HAPPY increases speed but lowers accuracy. Emotions can be strong or weak against each other, following a typical rock-paper-scissors format - HAPPY beats ANGRY, ANGRY beats SAD, and SAD beats HAPPY.[4][8]

PlotEdit

Omori awakens in WHITE SPACE, a small white room he has lived in "for as long as [he] can remember."[9] He opens a door, taking him to a colorful room where his friends Aubrey, Kel, and Hero are playing cards. The friends leave the room and enter VAST FOREST, a wooded area with a playground in the middle. The friends encounter Mari, Omori's older sister, and Basil. After looking through Basil's photo album containing the friends’ past adventures together, they decide to head to Basil's house. Traveling through Basil's flower garden they battle Sprout Moles, and fix Basil's photo Album after it is damaged by Kel and Aubrey in a scuffle. Upon seeing a photo he does not recognize fall from the Album, Basil begins panicking, and Omori is suddenly teleported back to WHITE SPACE. With no way to exit, Omori stabs himself with his knife, revealing the past events to be the dreams of a teenage boy named Sunny as he wakes up in the real world.

After waking up in his room, Sunny decides to go downstairs for a midnight snack, but is attacked by a horrific hallucination known only as “Something”. Sunny manages to dispel the illusion after calming down and eats a steak, keeping the knife he used to cut it, before going back to sleep. Omori awakens once again in White Space and reunites with Aubrey, Kel and Hero, with the four learning that Basil has gone missing. Deciding to rescue him, the four friends travel all around Headspace to search for him, while also being assisted by Mari. As the group gets sucked into situations involving the many colorful creatures they encounter on their adventures, their memories of Basil as well as their initial mission to rescue him begin to gradually fade, until they finally forget about his existence entirely. Eventually, their journey ends back at Basil’s now-dilapidated house, where Omori is transported to a dark and disturbing world known as “Black Space”. Exploring the various rooms in the area, Omori finally finds Basil, who attempts to talk to Omori about something, only to repeatedly die in numerous gruesome ways. In the final room, Omori murders Basil personally before seating himself atop a throne of giant hands.

In the real world, it’s revealed that Mari committed suicide four years ago, which had a profound effect on the rest of the group. Although Kel and Hero managed to recover emotionally from the event, Sunny became a shut-in and grew estranged from his old friends, Aubrey joined a gang of delinquents after feeling betrayed by the group’s apparent indifference to Mari’s death, and Basil has become neurotic and paranoid. Sunny will be moving away with his mother in three days to try and start over with a clean slate, leading to Kel approaching his door in an attempt to reconnect one last time. At this point, the player is given the option of either ignoring Kel and staying home or accepting his offer and going outside. If the latter option is chosen, the two encounter Aubrey’s gang while they are bullying Basil. Although they are scared off when Sunny attacks Aubrey with his steak knife, they realize that she stole Basil’s photo album and track her down to get it back. After finding her, she claims that she stole it to protect the photos after discovering that they had been vandalized. Sunny and Kel defeat Aubrey and ultimately get the album back, but Basil allows Sunny to keep it. As the three eat dinner together, Basil is suddenly mortified to learn of Sunny’s impending departure, being revealed to also suffer from hallucinations of "Something".

Eventually, the situation with Aubrey becomes so heated that she accidentally pushes Basil into the lake near their old hideout. Sunny nearly drowns as well while attempting to rescue him, but both boys are saved by Hero, who had just returned home from college. On the last day before Sunny’s departure, he, Kel and Hero meet with a remorseful Aubrey and the four friends reconcile, as well as come to terms with Mari’s death. They decide to spend their final night together in Basil’s house, even though he refuses to come out of his room. That night, Sunny is forced to confront the truth about Mari’s death in his dreams: he killed her by accidentally pushing her down the stairs during a heated argument about his violin lessons, with Basil witnessing the event. In severe denial that Sunny could have done such a thing, Basil helped him cover up Mari’s death as a suicide by hanging her corpse. Afterwards, the two looked back and saw her hanged body staring at them with a single eye open, shaping the “Something” hallucination that has haunted them ever since. In order to cope with the trauma, Sunny subconsciously created Omori as a split personality, who sought to repress Sunny’s memories by recreating the scenario in Sunny’s head where Basil goes missing countless times, resetting the characters’ memories each time (the vandalization of the real Basil’s photo album also being his doing).

At this point, Sunny wakes up in the middle of the night and is given the option of either confronting Basil in his room or going back to sleep, with the game’s ending changing depending on the player’s actions.

  • If Sunny confronts Basil over Mari's death, he finds the latter in an extremely unstable state and the two of them engage in a brutal fistfight, ending with Sunny's right eye being damaged and both boys passing out. While unconscious, Sunny recalls all of his fond memories with Mari and his friends and faces Omori himself in a final mental battle, but is ultimately defeated. If Sunny chooses to get back up after his defeat, he will manage to overcome his guilt while being encouraged by his late sister, dispelling Omori from his mind permanently. Sunny then wakes up in the hospital that he and Basil were sent to after their brawl, heads over to the latter's room where their friends are visiting him, and is implied to finally tell them the truth about Mari's death. If the player had been consistently tending to Basil's flowers during his absence in Headspace, an after-credits scene will show the apparition of Something finally disappearing from both boys, showing their newfound willingness to move on with their lives.
  • If Sunny confronts Basil and Omori but chooses not to continue after losing to the latter, then Omori will take over Sunny's body completely. Sunny will wake up in the hospital, but rather than entering Basil's room, he will commit suicide by jumping off the hospital roof.
  • If Sunny goes back to sleep without confronting the psychotic Basil, he wakes up to discover that the latter has committed suicide. As his friends grieve for him, Sunny can either also commit suicide with his steak knife, or move away while being wracked with even more guilt than ever before.

If the player had chosen to have Sunny stay inside his house and do chores without ever reconciling with his old friends, then a variation of one of the latter two endings will be seen.

DevelopmentEdit

Omori was developed over the course of six and a half years, directed by pseudonymous artist OMOCAT.[10] It is based on omori ひきこもり [hikikomori], a webcomic Tumblr blog OMOCAT created to "help [her] cope with [her] problems during a confusing part of [her] life." Initially planned as a graphic novel, she switched its medium to a video game to enable the audience to make choices in the story.[11][12] A Kickstarter campaign was launched in 2014, with an initial projected release date of May 2015, with a Nintendo 3DS port being one of the stretch goals; the project was successfully funded within one day.[13][14] The game would be delayed into 2019, but would again miss its target.[15] In 2020, Omori received its final release date of December 25.[16]

ReceptionEdit

Omori received generally favorable reviews, earning an aggregated review score of 87 out of 100 on Metacritic.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Fukunaga, Julie (January 12, 2021). "Omori Is the Horror RPG of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)". Wired. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  2. ^ Reuben, Nic (January 21, 2021). "Omori Review". TheSixthAxis. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  3. ^ OMORI on Steam. Retrieved February 15, 2021
  4. ^ a b Russo, Lee (February 5, 2021). "Omori: The Most Beautiful Game of 2021 Is Already Here". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  5. ^ Watts, Rachel (January 13, 2021). "OMORI REVIEW". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  6. ^ Smith, Graham (January 7, 2021). "Omori is out and looks destined for mega fandom". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  7. ^ Lopez, Azario (December 30, 2020). "Omori Review – Painfull and Beautiful". Noisy Pixel. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  8. ^ Pan, Garland (January 27, 2021). "OMORI Review". DarkStation. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  9. ^ Opening text: "Welcome to WHITE SPACE. You have been living here for as long as you can remember." OMOCAT (December 25, 2020). Omori. Playism.
  10. ^ LeClair, Kyle (December 3, 2020). "Offbeat RPG Omori Finally Receives Release Date". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  11. ^ OMOCAT (May 11, 2014). "from illustration to video game". OMOCAT Blog. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  12. ^ Archived copy of omori ひきこもり Tumblr blog. Retrieved February 15, 2021
  13. ^ Budgor, Astrid (April 23, 2014). "OMORI IS EQUAL PARTS FINAL FANTASY AND ERASERHEAD". Kill Screen. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  14. ^ Suszek, Mike (April 23, 2014). "Artist Omocat's surreal RPG Omori channels its inner Earthbound". Engadget. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  15. ^ Lada, Jenni (September 11, 2019). "OMOCAT's Omori Coming Out In English In 2019, Japanese In 2020". Siliconera. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  16. ^ Lada, Jenni (November 30, 2020). "Omori Release Date Will Fall on Christmas". Siliconera. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  17. ^ "Omori for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  18. ^ "Omori review". PC Gamer. Retrieved February 25, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit